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Chef Liu

I used to eat here a lot back when they were still located in that trailer-type digs in the middle of Pine Tree Plaza. Now that they’ve moved to a fancier place a few steps away, complete with centralized heating, I guess you could say the food has become more consistent. Generally, food here is decent. Some, better than others. Like the famous Xiao Long Bao. Soup dumplings.

Chef Liu

A misnomer, they’re actually steamed dumplings with soup inside. The version here has been top notch every time I visit. I don’t know, just lucky I guess. The filling is very tasty, the wrapper is soft, translucent and chewy, with lots of soup inside. Eat them fast, eat them first. They tend to get gummier if you wait too long. I like the Cantonese version the best because the wrapper is thinner. Now if you ever get the chance to go to the west coast, or Asia, there is only ONE place that serves the BEST xialongbao: Din Tai Fung. A childhood favorite, it will blow you away. No other place in New York or San Francisco, or elsewhere in the US makes them better. Joe’s you ask? Not even close.

Chef Liu

Steamed Dumplings. Nothing more I can say except ordinary. Skip. Get the fried instead.

Chef Liu

Cha chiang mein. These are thick noodles served with black bean sauce on the side. You mix them up. I’ve eaten this everywhere. It’s not good here. The sauce needs a stronger flavor to balance the tasteless noodles: it needs more black beans and black bean paste. Also absent? Ground pork. It’s like eating a cheeseburger but without the cheese. Why bother.

Chef Liu

The famous leek pie. I don’t know what the fuss is about. Not a big fan. I’m not into that floury wrapper they use. But that’s just me. You go ahead. It’s got lots of chopped leeks and clear noodles. Leek pies in general are ordinary tasting, if you ask me. But they’re a good veggie accompaniment to a meal. And at $2.50? Why not.

Chef Liu

Sesame Paste Topping Noodle. Stellar. Chewy noodles. Peanutty. Sweetish, gritty sesame paste just as it should be. Served cold.

Chef Liu

Yang Zhou Fried Rice. Because Chinese meals are better eaten with a side of fried rice. Smoky and greasy. Love it. (This is also known in Cantonese as Young Chow fried rice.)

Chef Liu

Shredded Tofu. Delicious. Sweetish. Chewy tofu. Served cold with lots of wood ear mushrooms, peanuts. Great appetizer or palate cleanser.

Chef Liu

Chicken Basil Hot Pot. Not on the menu. Tender chicken pieces. A soy-based stew with lots of basil. The caramelized sauce provides a tiny hint of sweet but still savory. Delicious is an understatement.

Chef Liu

Eggplant With Garlic Sauce. Delicious. A good play on savory and garlicky. The eggplants aren’t mushy which is nice.

If you’re craving for decent, inexpensive Chinese then you should come here. It’s clean and service is fast and cordial.

Chef Liu
5221 Buford Highway NE
Doraville, GA 30340
(770) 936-0532
Open Daily 9am-10pm

Chef Liu on Urbanspoon

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5 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Thom V. // Feb 1, 2011 at 1:00 am

    Chole you need to create an app ;)

  • 2 Kimbo // Feb 1, 2011 at 6:27 am

    Cha chang mein (janjang myun) is popular in Korea. My mom is Korean and I grew up eating it. I’ll have to try it here and see if it’s any different.

  • 3 Chloe // Feb 1, 2011 at 10:18 am

    @Thom: ;-)

    @Kimbo: Korean jajangmyeon is different. Chinese cha chang mien is saltier. I love the Korean version. It’s all I ate all summer long. I have an article coming up showcasing Atlanta’s places for it. Stay tuned.

  • 4 thepeopleseason // Feb 2, 2011 at 11:30 am

    My one objection to Chef Liu’s Soup Dumplings is the steamer liner is hard plastic, which encourages ripping the skins and losing the precious soup inside, like tears. I’d previously recommended Northern China Eatery to folks seeking Xiao Long Bao (served on swiss-cheesed paper liners), but sadly, their service has gone from very friendly to surly and unaccommodating.

    And no Tsong Yo Bing (Scallion Pancakes)?

  • 5 OC1979 // Feb 2, 2011 at 5:34 pm

    Have you ever tried Nanxiang Xiao Long Bao in Shanghai? For soup dumplings, I think they set the worldwide standard, and I think I always compare any xiao long I eat to the Nanxiang. Skins are delicate, without being too thin or slimy, and they’re steamed traditionally ontop of napa cabbage leaves, and served with black rice vinegar and ginger slivers on the side. I’m all about the Shanghai style, and I don’t think Din Tai Fung quite cuts it.

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